(The following is a post by Catalina Gómez, reference librarian in the Hispanic Division.)
I can’t believe it’s that time of the year again; how time flies! National Hispanic Heritage Month at the Library of Congress is without a doubt one of my favorite months of the year. It offers a wonderful opportunity for curators, librarians, program coordinators, educators, and staff from all of the Library’s service units and divisions to come together and develop programs, displays, gatherings, and initiatives to mark this important occasion which honors and recognizes one of the most vibrant communities of this nation. This year’s press release includes an exciting line-up of events which you can find here.
National Hispanic Heritage Month dates back to 1968, when the U.S. Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to designate a week in September as Hispanic Heritage Week. By 1988, the celebration had become a month-long event starting on September 15 and going through to October 15 of each year. Since then, National Hispanic Heritage Month has been a month to officially acknowledge and celebrate the history and culture of those Americans who trace their ancestry and culture to Spain and Latin America.
For those who live in the DC area, we hope you can join us. In addition to our events, there will also be a special collections display about the History of the Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations in the United States. The display opens from September 11 – November 11, 2017 in the Thomas Jefferson Building’s Great Hall. All programs are free and open to the public.
If you don’t live here, don’t worry, you can still partake! Stay tuned for the webcasts of our programs to be published on the Library of Congress’ webcasts page later in the year.
Last but not least, make sure you visit the Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape online feature. As part of the Library’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, we will be adding fifty recordings from this collection and making them available for online audio streaming! Our new additions include authors Isabel Allende, Cesar Aira, Julia Alvarez, and the beloved Peruvian poet Martín Adán.